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Musical genres reflect the personalities of us mere mortals

Students undergo some introspection as they seek to ponder their favorite musical genres.  |  Caleb Raney/THE CHIMES

 

Throughout history, music has presented itself as quite the influential phenomenon. It leaks into all sorts of everyday life, from weird mood music in Chipotle or even unwarranted vibey tones at the dentist.  Music has made itself a comfortable but necessary little home in the lives of most college students, whether that be ambiance music in the dorm, background study music or even the streaming of a specific album. Music has come to find itself nestled between the different genres of our lives, much like our own niches within music genres.

A reflection of personality

A musical genre represents a whole world of melodies and beats that make it specific and unlike any other. However, what does the enjoyment of specific genres say about our humanity? Freshman accounting major Connor Lee adores indie folk music, and he finds a correlation between his personality and the genre.

“It reflects me because it’s a calm genre for a calm person,” Lee said.

That seems rather simple right? One’s disposition can translate into the type of music they desire to listen to. Sophomore journalism major Lance Gibson, who prefers the post-hardcore genre, definitely identifies with what it speaks for.

“I feel like when people first meet me they can definitely tell what kind of music I listen to. So, yeah I feel like the genre says something about my personality, maybe it’s that I just don’t care,” Gibson said.

The idea of a specific taste in music being visually evident may be new, but the idea that a genre represents oneself showed true across the board. Sophomore biblical studies major Lars Gustafson falls under this description.

“What I’ve found is that alternative music tends to contain substance in its lyrics and this reflects me because I tend to gravitate to ideas and ultimately people who have substance about them,” Gustafson said.

Junior communication studies major Andrew Spillar whose favorite genre stands as R&B, also expressed a similar sentiment.

“I think R&B relates to my chill personality and go with the flow attitude,” Spillar said.

Then there are other ways of thinking about it. Although this following perspective still shows personal significance, it is less obvious and more self-reflective. Sophomore psychology major Aidyn Wooley who favors the alternative genre, gave insight into this perspective.

“I would say we like different music depending on our lifestyles. We like music that are representative of who we think we are,” Wooley said.

finding worth and identity in things outside of ourselves

Junior marketing major Matt Eaton also liked alternative, similarly to Wooley, but differed in his reasoning.

“I think I am a thoughtful and introspective person, so I like finding music that is unique and easy to connect with, like this diverse genre,” Eaton said.

The theme of getting something bigger out of music, whether from the lyrics or melody, runs true for many students. Senior art major Cayley Thacker has a keen interest in her favorite genre, rap.

“I think rap speaks specifically to a part of me that I don’t share with other people. That’s one of the best things about music, it’s like a different kind of friendship,” Thacker said.

For humans in general, but especially Biola students, community seems to find itself deeply seeped into our bones. This concept and desire proves true in music for junior political science major Solomon Chen.

“I value the feeling of community within EDM,” Chen said.

Our generation has a knack for finding worth and identity in things outside of ourselves. Hopefully this will be found in God, but after that there are several veins through which people can find identity. Music has proven one of the most prevalent. Whether for pleasure, self-knowledge or even deeper community remains up for debate, but the ardent love for its presence in our lives runs ever strong.

 

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